The Best Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken is incredibly versatile and a real crowd pleaser. Curried, roasted and shredded chicken thighs are dressed with a fragrant yoghurt and mayonnaise dressing and dried apricots. This version is fruity spicy and perfect for preparing ahead for a delicious salad or satisfying sandwich filling.

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad on a wooden board

Coronation Chicken is one of my favourite ways to get ahead in the kitchen. It may be retro but made correctly it’s an outstanding way to serve chicken.

During the summer I made huge batches of Coronation Chicken Salad for serving at picnics. This time of year though I stuff it into sandwiches or serve it heaped into a hotly buttered jacket potato.

It’s the perfect seasonal crossover dish, so versatile and is a recipe you absolutely need to have in your back pocket so you can return to it again and again.

A bowl of coronation chicken on a wooden board

What is Coronation Chicken?

The recipe for Coronation Chicken was developed in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation by Rosemary Hume.

It is a cold dish, traditionally made with poached chicken dressed in a lightly curried mayonnaise with dried apricots.

These days Coronation Chicken can be considered a bit of a dated affair. However if you have ever been for a proper British afternoon tea you will no doubt have tasted it as part of your platter of finger sandwiches. If so, you simply must agree that Coronation Chicken deserves it’s place amongst the most regal of British culinary inventions.

Unfortunately, like Eccles Cakes or Flapjacks its ubiquity has led to some very poor mass market imitations. The Coronation Chicken you can buy pre-made as a sandwich filling in the supermarket is not the best example of this delicate recipe.

If you want the real deal you know what you have to do. Make it yourself. You won’t be sorry.

What makes this Coronation Chicken so brilliant?

  • Boneless chicken thighs are rubbed generously with fresh curry spices before roasting for more impactful flavour.
  • The chicken skin is left on. Those crispy bits are the jewels of the salad.
  • Mayonnaise is cut through with yoghurt for a lighter fresher dressing.
  • Those fresh curry spices and a squeeze of lime are also added to the dressing.
  • Almond butter is mixed in with the dressing for a rich almost satay like flavour.
  • Dried apricots are used here instead of the far too intrusive sultanas which ruins many commercial Coronation Chickens.
  • Dressing up the salad with fresh coriander, toasted flaked almonds and crunchy pumpkin and sesame seeds gives the Coronation Chicken amazing texture and flavour.

If you want more great chicken recipes then why not try…

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel
Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers
Lemon Honey and Sesame Chicken
Chicken and Leek Pie

How do you make Coronation Chicken?

  1. Make the curry paste by grinding the spices then mixing with the coconut oil.A pestle and mortar, filled with curry spices
  2. Rub the curry paste all over the chicken thighs and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds. Roast for a final 15 minutes.curried chicken thighs in a roasting dish
  3. Cool then shred the chicken.
  4. Make the dressing by mixing mayonnaise, yoghurt, almond butter, lime juice and the rest of the curry spices.a bowl of coronation chicken salad dressing with curry spices scattered over
  5. Pour the dressing over the shredded chicken along with finely diced dried apricots and fresh red chilli.

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad

Expert Tips

  • For ultra refined curry spice mix try processing your spices in a spice grinder. They are often sold primarily as coffee grinders but coffee grinders and spice grinders are the same thing.

  • Dice the dried apricot super small for delicate fruitiness in every bite. I prefer it if the dried fruit isn’t too ‘in your face.’
  • Use very drippy almond butter, not the hardened dredge from the bottom of the jar.
  • If you are serving to children or people who don’t like a lot of heat then just omit the red chilli.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?

You can. But, I really recommend boneless chicken thighs. They are jucier and more flavourful. However, if you prefer chicken breasts then you will only need 4 breasts. I recommend cutting them in half widthways and only cooking for 20 minutes total time.

Can I use leftover shredded chicken?

Yes absolutely. Since your chicken won’t have been roasted in the curry spices then it won’t be as flavourful. I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of the curry spices into the dressing rather than the 1 tablespoon suggested in the recipe.

How to make Dairy-Free Coronation Chicken

There is only one simple switch to make this Coronation Chicken dairy-free. Just swap out regular natural yoghurt for coconut yoghurt. I actually love this switch and the slightly coconutty flavour it lends. Mayonnaise is usually dairy-free, especially if you are using homemade mayonnaise. However always check your labelling.

Expert Tip

Please note, there is a little bit more dressing than you might need. There is a reason for this. If you are serving the Coronation Chicken straight away you might need slightly less dressing. The longer the Coronation Chicken sits in the fridge the dressing tends to thicken. Just before serving I like to loosen with a little more dressing. If you are packing the Coronation Chicken for a picnic, take the extra dressing too, it usually always gets gobbled up.

How do you serve Coronation Chicken?

  • Sandwich filling
  • Heaped on a jacket potato
  • Piled on cut and toasted bread for an appetiser or canapés – see my recipe for Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
  • Coronation Chicken salad

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad on a wooden board

How to make Coronation Chicken Salad

My favourite way to serve Coronation Chicken has to be with this Wild Rice Salad. It makes for a substantial supper, a brilliant offering for a potluck or a delicious picnic lunch. The full recipe is in the recipe card below.

  1. Cook and cool a mix of wild and basmati rice.A bowl of basmati and wild rice on a wooden board
  2. Toss salad leaves with spring onions and fresh coriander leaves.
  3. Serve alongside the Coronation Chicken and scatter with pumpkin seeds, toasted flaked almonds and sesame seeds.

For more delicious salad recipes why not try…

Roast Pork Belly Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad
Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
English Mint Potato Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Can you freeze Coronation Chicken?

You can freeze the roasted and cooled chicken thighs ready for making Coronation Chicken at a later date. However, you can’t freeze the final finished dish.

How long can you keep Coronation Chicken in the fridge?

Up to 3 days.

If you make this Coronation Chicken or the Coronation Chicken Salad then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

The Best Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken is incredibly versatile and a real crowd pleaser. Curried, roasted and shredded chicken thighs are dressed with a fragrant yoghurt and mayonnaise dressing and dried apricots. This version is fruity spicy and perfect for preparing ahead for a delicious salad or satisfying sandwich filling.






Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 498kcal

Ingredients

Coronation Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 800 g boneless chicken thighs about 10 thighs
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 250 ml yoghurt natural dairy or natural coconut
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon curry spice mix
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced (optional)

Coronation Chicken Salad

  • 175 g basmati and wild rice mix
  • 420 ml water
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of fresh coriander
  • 30 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white

Instructions

Coronation Chicken

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
  • Make the curry paste by grinding together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds until fine using a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar.
  • Tip the spices into a large bowl and add the turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, salt and mix well.
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of the spices and set aside in a small bowl for later.
  • Stir the coconut oil into the rest of the spice mix until a thick paste has been formed.
  • Rub the paste all over the chicken thighs until they are evenly covered.
  • Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds.
  • Place back into the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes.
  • Remove and leave the chicken until cool enough to handle then shred the meat and crisp skin.
  • Place in a bowl whilst you prepare the dressing.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, lime juice and almond butter with the reserved tablespoon of the curry spice mix.
  • Pour two thirds of the dressing over the shredded chicken and add in the dried apricots and red chilli.
  • Stir well until the chicken is completely covered.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Use more of the dressing to loosen the Coronation Chicken just before serving.

Coronation Chicken Salad

  • Place the rice in a large saucepan. Pour in the water and stir.
  • Turn the heat on and place the lid of the saucepan on. Bring to boil then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid at all during cooking. The rice is ready when all the water has been absorbed and you can’t see any bubbling up beneath the cooking rice.
  • Turn off the heat and place a folded up clean tea towel between the saucepan and the lid. Leave the rice to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and the tea towel and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Leave the rice to cool before serving with the salad.
  • To prepare the salad toss the baby leaves, spring onions and coriander leaves together in a large bowl.
  • Serve the salad, rice and coronation chicken together on a large platter and scatter over the flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Notes

Chicken Breasts – you can use chicken breasts, I won’t judge, but I really recommend using chicken thighs for more flavour and juiciness.
Leftover Chicken – you can use leftover chicken instead of preparing it especially for this dish. It won’t be imbued with the same amount of flavour so you must add another tablespoon of curried spices to the dressing.
Chilli - If you are serving this to children or someone who dislikes heat you may want to leave out the red chilli.
Dried Apricots – cut extra fine so the dried fruit isn’t too overpowering.
Almond Butter – use really drippy almond butter, not the hardened dredge at the bottom of the jar.
Dressing – This recipe will make more dressing than you need. Finished Coronation Chicken will thicken in the fridge. Just before serving loosen it with some extra dressing.
Extra Dressing? – Don’t waste it, use it as a dip for crudités.
Dairy-free? Use coconut yoghurt instead of natural dairy yoghurt.
Alternative serving suggestions – If you don’t want to make the salad then the coronation chicken is delicious as a sandwich filling, heaped on a jacket potato or on cut and toasted French bread for a canapé.
Make Ahead – you can make the Coronation Chicken up to 3 days ahead of eating.
Store - keep refrigerated for up to 3 days
Salad Serving - I like to serve the salad so the leaves, rice and coronation chicken are not mixed together as it looks more attractive. Although you can mix it all up if you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 3mg

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2016, but was updated in September 2019 with more clarification to the recipe as well as new photos, nutritional information and expert tips.

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel is made with seasoned almond flour and is a 10 minute wonder meal.

overhead view of Plate of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

Chicken Schnitzel is definitely my favourite weeknight meal at the moment. I am having it every other night and I can’t see I will ever get tired of it. It’s crisp on the outside with the chicken perfectly juicy on the inside. This recipe is also super quick with limited ingredients and just happens to fit in nicely with the Whole30 which I’m currently in another round of. There are no breadcrumbs needed in this recipe as the almond flour crisps up deliciously in the pan without being too crunchy or nutty.

close up of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

Almond flour is my secret weapon in making the best gluten-free Chicken Schnitzel. It’s actually not that easy to get hold of though so do check if you’re ordering it online that it is actually the finely milled almond flour that you are buying. Quite often you’ll find ground almonds are packaged up as almond flour but that’s not what you’re looking for here. The almond flour you want is white, powdery and well, flour-like.

You will be using the almond flour exactly the same way you would if you were coating with regular flour. Your chicken is bashed gently out to an even thickness with a meat mallet, then dipped in beaten egg and then finally dredged through the seasoned almond flour. Season the flour well so that the crisp coating is ultra flavourful. The chicken is then pan-fried for three minutes each side and before you can google the correct spelling for schnitzel, dinner is done.

Plate of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

I love to serve the best gluten-free Chicken Schnitzel with a quick homemade coleslaw. I haven’t included an exact recipe below as you can use whatever veg you happen to have in the fridge to make it. I feel I have hit the jackpot though if I have carrots, red cabbage and fennel in. I just throw them into the food processor fixed with the grater attachment and mix the shredded veg with some mayo (I often don’t put onions in as they need to be sliced by hand and frankly I can’t be bothered). If I’m feeling really decadent I’ll sauté up some new potatoes but really that’s fancy-talk as the dish doesn’t need it. But whatever you do, don’t forget the squeeze of fresh lemon. It’s essential.

Plate of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

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If you make the Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your variations of my recipes.

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel is made with seasoned almond flour and is a 10 minute wonder meal.
Prep Time4 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 716kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 45 g almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion granules
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 chicken breast

Instructions

  • Melt the ghee in a large flat bottomed saucepan or cast iron pan and turn to a medium-low heat.
  • Whisk together the almond flour with the paprika, onion granules, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly onto a plate.
  • Break the egg into a medium sized bowl and whisk lightly.
  • Batter the chicken breast gently to an even 1 inch thickness, then dip first into the egg, then once fully coated dredge through the almond flour so it’s coated well on both sides.
  • Carefully place the chicken into the pan and cook for 3 minutes each side until golden.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan, cut into even strips and serve with homemade coleslaw.

Notes

*you can use olive oil but I like the flavour of ghee the best.

Nutrition

Calories: 716kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 346mg | Sodium: 907mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 3.5mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

It’s the almond flour in this recipe which really makes this chicken dish a hit. Perfectly milled almond flour is not easy to find but I buy RealFoodSource Certified Organic Extra Fine High Protein Almond Flour (1KG) from Amazon and I love it. It panics me when my bag is starting to look empty as I use it all the time, in sauces, in cakes, energy balls and of course my beloved Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel. I find my bag of almond flour absolutely essential to my Whole 30.

If you get a proper meat mallet you’ll be surprised how often you use it. Not just for meat but for bashing up biscuits, praline, the list goes on. Do your rolling pin a favour and get a proper basher. I like the OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderiser.

Ghee is my new favourite ingredient and if I don’t have time to make it myself I go with Ghee Easy Organic Ghee, 850 g. Ghee is great as it has a high smoking point so gets lovely flavour into your dishes without any risk of burning like regular butter.

One of my very favourite saucepans is my cast iron skillet pan and it is what I use for making this Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel. I originally asked Luke to get me this for Christmas a couple of years ago as I was keen on an implement that could be easily transferred from hob to oven and this is ideal. I use it a lot for cooking whole chicken breasts, by searing the chicken on in the skillet on the hob and then finishing off for 10 minutes in the oven. It’s now invaluable to me and the pan I have is the Staub Dust 40510-617-0 Frypan with cast iron handle, cast iron, black, 26 cm which I love love love.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers

These Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers are an easy addition to your summer grilling. The fruity sweet and salty marinade is practically drinkable and takes moments to prepare.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, microherbs next to a bowl of marinade and a jar of honey

This recipe is updated from a 2014 post with new photos and a recipe with clearer instructions and updated to gluten-free. I have kept the below text the same as originally published for posterity.

This recipe is quite close to my heart. It’s the very first recipe I collected. The first of many, garnered from friends and family, ripped out of magazines, printed off the internet and saved from cooking classes and food fairs which now fill the eight full-to-bursting lever-arch files that are piled up in the corner of my dining room. This recipe represents the very first time I ate something and thought it was so delicious I wanted to re-create it for myself.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, micro herbs

I remember my first few forays in the kitchen as an adult, cooking for myself at university. I made theHungarian Chicken from my mother’s battered copy of Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course for my boyfriend at the time and surprised even myself at how easy it was. I had been cooking Sunday lunches, bolognaises, lasagnes and simple cakes at home for years, but no recipe was required as the cooking was ingrained from years spent in the kitchen with my parents. I had never before sought out a recipe and made it according to a stranger’s instructions until the Hungarian Chicken. This was food that was new and different, and I had made myself.

glass of wine on a wooden board next to a plate of food

It wasn’t long after this that I traipsed down to London for the weekend to see friends. We all knew each other from school, riding the train in from our various universities around the country and congregating together in London at one of our parents’ houses. It must have been a 21st birthday and we were having a barbecue. No doubt afterwards we would have fussed around with hair and make up, swigging back white wine before grabbing taxis into town for our night out.

However, before all that we were throwing sausages and supermarket burgers onto a barbecue which one of us was tending. Another was responsible for chopping the salad, another for portioning out the bread but the friend whose house we were at was very carefully following a scribbled down recipe for chicken kebabs. She was pouring gallons of wine, honey, orange juice, soy sauce and other bits and pieces into a huge mixing bowl before adding chicken and stirring it all together, then threading it onto metal skewers. I thought this was incredibly enterprising for a student barbecue and helped her grab the ingredients from the cupboards and weigh them out.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, micro herbs

When ready the chicken was one of the best I have ever tasted, sweet and salty, slightly sticky from the honey and smoky from the barbecue with a bite of Tabasco. Every bite was imbued with this delicious marinade. Everyone said how nice the chicken kebabs were but this was something that I had never tasted before and I didn’t want to not taste it again, I wanted to have this chicken at my barbecues. She said her family always made it and it came from an old cookbook they had somewhere, mostly they made it from memory but she had a few notes written down from her mother. She gave me her scribbled version of the recipe and I treasured it, taking it home. It wasn’t long before I tested the recipe out myself and I was delighted that it tasted exactly the same.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, micro herbs

Now this recipe comes out at all of our family barbecues. The chicken always receives delightful comments and no wonder as it’s the best marinade recipe I have up my sleeve. I am always happy to pass it on, as thanks to the kindness of an old friend, it is why I have it in the first place.

I no longer keep in touch with the friend who gave me this recipe for no reason other than our lives grew apart in the maelstrom of graduating university, moving flats several times and early career struggles. It makes me sad that our friendship fell by the wayside but now every time I have a barbecue and I am pouring the wine, honey, soy sauce and orange juice into my own mixing bowl, reading her scribbled handwriting and weighing out my ingredients I think of her.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, microherbs next to a bowl of marinade and a jar of honey

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers

These Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers are an easy addition to your summer grilling. The fruity sweet and salty marinade is practically drinkable and takes moments to prepare.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time1 hr 18 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 409kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg chicken breasts cut into strips, about 6
  • 90 g honey
  • 90 ml coconut aminos / tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 280 ml white wine
  • 280 ml orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Instructions

  • Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, add the chicken strips then leave for at least 1 hour to marinate.
  • Whilst your chicken is marinating soak your skewers (if you are using wooden ones) in a bowl of water to stop from burning on the grill.
  • Thread the chicken strips onto the wooden skewers before placing on a hot grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side before removing and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 641mg | Potassium: 1072mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 26.6mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.3mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

One of the changes I made when updating this recipe was making it gluten-free which meant swapping out the soy sauce for coconut aminos. I personally prefer the taste of coconut aminos to tamari (which is a gluten-free soy sauce) but it is a little pricier. The brand of coconut aminos I love is Cocofina Organic Coconut Amino – Alternative to Soy Sauce 250ml which has a delicious flavour. I have noticed no difference in taste between this gluten-free version of the Honey Orange and White Wine marinade to the original recipe.

Some of the links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy your flour using the link then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Chicken Fajita Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Fajita Wild Rice Soup is the perfect mid-week dinner. Packed with flavour, fresh, comforting and fully satisfying.

I love it when a quick midweek meal suddenly reveals itself to be an absolute stunner out of nowhere. When I’m slamming ingredients left and right into a saucepan, keen to get dinner on the table in under twenty minutes then I can’t always be bothered to taste here, adjust for seasoning there. The salt and pepper get tossed into the pot mercilessly so it’s anyone’s guess on whether I have got the balance right until we’re tucking in on the sofa.

I think it adds to the excitement of dinner time; will I have got a bit heavy handed with the cumin again? Or perhaps a little under handed with the chilli? Almost certainly. Once the first few bites are underway Luke usually has to get back up to get something, salt, tabasco, sriracha; usually salt. I am obstinate that I got it right first time so will rarely return to the kitchen, oh yes and I’m lazy.

So when I got everything bang on last Wednesday we were all pretty shocked. I was perhaps a little offended that Luke felt the need to repeat more than once how actually this was a really delicious dinner and I felt he really hammed up the yummy noises. I pride myself on being a bit of a cook it so happens and this didn’t particularly fill me with confidence about my usual offerings. I begrudgingly agreed though, this Chicken Fajjita and Wild Rice Soup one was definitely a keeper and as I was on a roll I made it the next couple of nights for good measure, but I didn’t get such resounding applause the second or third times and the yummy noises definitely receeded. Spoilsport.

I do not underestimate the foundation of a really good stock in this (or any) soup and I hit the motherload when I found the last of the ham stock lurking at the back of the freezer from Christmas. However, if you can only get your hands on some supermarket standby or a stock cube then the smoky triumvirate of chipotle, smoked garlic powder and sweet paprika will mean you don’t miss out too much.

The beauty of this soup was that I basically just made chicken fajitas, frying off a load of onions, peppers and smoky spiced chicken then added stock and a mix of basmati and wild rice. Really the whole thing was a charmed idea from the off. However I will not lie to you, this soup is pretty much all about the toppings and I think it’s important to load your finished soup up with all the good stuff you would normally put on your fajitas. Let that bowl overflow my friend, there is no judgement here.

We are looking for textures and flavours in our toppings and since my fridge is always stocked with coriander, avocado, limes and sour cream, as I crave fajitas often, there was no question that they would insist on getting involved. As luck would have it I am having a bit of a moment with pumpkin seeds so they got shovelled on top and it turned out they added a much needed crunch to the proceedings. Salty sharp feta also turned out to be perfection since it is a pretty good substitution for proper authentic Mexican cheese and it just so happened I got some in this week. If not, cheddar would have sufficed.

I feel like the whole dinner was kismet but even if you don’t have any of the ingredients to hand at all then I urge you to put them on your next shopping list as this soup is so good that it’s definitely worth planning for.

Chicken Fajita Wild Rice Soup

A flavour packed soup, fresh, comforting and fully satisfying.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 308kcal

Ingredients

  • 450 g chicken breast cubed
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon smoked garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced finely
  • ½ red pepper sliced finely
  • ½ yellow pepper sliced finely
  • ½ green pepper sliced finely
  • 100 g sweetcorn kernals
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 200 g wild and basmati rice mix cooked
  • Optional Toppings: crumbled feta,sour cream, sliced avocado, pumpkin seeds, fresh coriander

Instructions

  • Combine the chipotle, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and coriander together then rub into the cubed chicken. Set aside whilst you get the soup started.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large wide bottomed saucepan then when hot add the onion and peppers and gently fry for about 15 minutes until softened and just starting to catch.
  • Add the chicken and the sweetcorn and mix in.
  • Pour over the orange juice, lime juice and the stock and bring everything back up the boil. Once it’s there, turn down to simmer for about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in the cooked rice then divide between the bowls, topping up with as many accoutrements as your bowls can handle.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 960IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad was borne from a desire to use up leftover roast chicken but was such a treat that I made a huge batch of it again the next day, this time roasting up a couple of chicken breasts especially for the event.

Now, I’m not one for do-ahead salads. For starters I don’t like cold salads, they need to be brought up to room temperature first so by the time you’ve decided you’re hungry you might as well have knocked it together there and then rather than twiddling your fingers for half an hour whilst the chill is knocked off your lunch.

Pre-dressed salads are also usually a problem, as heavy dressings render delicate leaves a soggy mulch, or worse if there’s garlic involved create a pungency to the whole affair which detracts from the light bright flavours you began with. My Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt encountered no such issues though and after having made a fair amount to last for a few days I popped it, dressing and all, into the fridge until I was ready to eat it over the next few days.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad holds no leaves to wilt or garlic to intoxify so the fresh flavours are kept intact. In fact, they are improved upon as the feta simply soaks up flavour so over the next couple of days it took on more depth from the lemon and mint. There is also no oil in the dressing so there is no chance of the dressing weighing down the other ingredients.

Okay, so I did have to take my salad out of the fridge for a bit so the flavours could re-ignite in room temperature but after about 15 minutes of impatience I dove in and found I hadn’t lost anything in its preservation.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Now you must be fussy when gathering ingredients for this salad, not only should you insist upon the best tomatoes you can find and of course organic free-range chicken, bone intact and skin on so it retains moisture during its roasting, but this salad also benefits hugely from the inclusion of extremely good feta. Supermarket feta is so hit and miss, more often than not a bit dry and crumbly and until you’ve overdosed on the good stuff in Greece you may not even know how much you like it. I am lucky though to be within spitting distance of Ally Pally farmers’ market on a Sunday where there is an excellent producer eager to offload his wonderful olives, pickled garlic and sundried tomato antipasti. It’s his feta that is the star of the show though, tangy, dense and sublimely creamy, although you have to get to the market early as he always sells out.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts on the bone
2 teaspoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
150g cucumber, halved and de-seeded
200g tomato, roughly chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced thinly
½ red onion, halved and sliced thinly
120g feta

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon yoghurt
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
good handful of fresh mint leaves, diced finely
juice of ½ lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice with some seasoning then rub all over the chicken breasts.
  3. Place in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, basting halfway through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest whilst you prepare the rest of the salad.
  5. Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, celery and red onion in a large bowl and crumble over the feta.
  6. In a separate small bowl whisk together all your dressing ingredients and pour most of it evenly over the salad.
  7. Toss it all together and heap into bowls.
  8. Remove the chicken from the bone, then slice and serve over the salad, drizzling over a final bit of dressing.

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken is deliciously tender with a sticky crunchy coating. A quick weeknight staple which is a million times better than a takeaway.

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken

Valentines Day means Chinese to us. There have only been a couple of times where we have bothered booking somewhere smart and fancy, but set menus, surrounded by other couples don’t really signify romance to me. On Valentines Day you will either find us holed up in Chinatown where you can always get a table, a huge dinner and unobtrusive service or at home cooking a banquet together where the emphasis is not on the end result but the act of cooking as a couple.

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken

In fact one of my most memorable Valentines nights was when we decided to cook ourselves a night out in Chinatown. We mixed over-the-top cocktails that insisted upon using every alcoholic drink in our cabinet and was tantalisingly aqua marine with umbrellas and glace cherries. We drank these far too quickly whilst pouring over Chinese cookbooks and making a royal mess as well as sesame prawn toasts, char siu pork, egg fried rice and broccoli in oyster sauce. We finished with the requisite deep fried bananas, which always ensures a blistered tongue, and vanilla ice cream which melted as soon as it hit the bananas.

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken

Spending hours in the kitchen isn’t as fun as it normally is at the moment with my increasing bump getting in the way of the kitchen counter, my lower back threatening to give out at any minute and bending down to get my bottom kitchen cabinets requiring about five minutes of recuperation time. So, we need to make haste with our Valentines preparations and there is no quicker and more delicious Chinese dish to make at home than this Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken. It’s a meal that I can happily make for the two of us, or if Luke is away then just me on my lonesome, it really is that little bother. Not to mention it tastes a million times better than the bland and greasy MSG filled takeaway at the end of the phone.

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken

Lemon, Honey and Sesame Chicken is deliciously tender with a sticky crunchy coating. A quick weeknight staple which is a million times better than a takeaway.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 people (or 2 with plenty of yummy leftovers so you can have cold Chinese the next morning)
Calories: 413kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs with skin diced (or 3 chicken breasts)
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos* or tamari
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Place the cornflour, five-spice, garlic powder, zest of the lemon and salt in a bowl and whisk together until evenly mixed.
  • Toss the diced chicken into the cornflour mixture until thoroughly coated.
  • Heat up the coconut oil in a large wide bottomed saucepan or wok until hot then add the chicken, cooking on a medium to hot temperature until crispy and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Whisk the honey, coconut aminos and juice from half of the lemon together until combined then pour into the pan. Bubble up for a minute then add the chicken back in along with the sesame seeds and cook for a further minute until piping hot.
  • Serve with rice stir-fried with beansprouts, spring onions and extra coconut aminos drizzled over.

Notes

*coconut aminos is a gluten-free and soy-free alternative to soy sauce. You can use soy sauce or tamari if you are not gluten-free

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 14.5mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2.2mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

Coconut aminos is a larder staple for me which is a gluten-free and soy-free alternative to soy sauce. I personally prefer the taste of coconut aminos to tamari (which is gluten-free but does contain soy) but it is a little pricier. The brand of coconut aminos I love is Cocofina Organic Coconut Amino – Alternative to Soy Sauce 250ml which has a delicious flavour and is what I used in this recipe.

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